Spotlight on Arthur Levy
Meet Arthur Levy: VP of Business Development at Brex, Arthur believes in the power of building relationships.
RLG: Can you share a bit about your work in business development?
AL: I realized early in my career I had a passion for driving revenue through partnerships - through strong, meaningful relationships. I did business development work at Teespring for two years before I started at Brex in 2017, right when the company was founded, where I am fortunate to continue my BD journey.
Over the years, I’ve learned some key lessons. Perhaps the most important tip that colors my work today is that the ideal partnership deal is made through trusted partners and advisors. I’ve found that in financial circles, utilizing a network of partners to build a community and cycle of referrals is tremendously valuable. So, I work with Larissa Maranhão, Brex’s first employee, to build the vendor relationships that make up this network. My mandate is to scale this network operation to grow various programs and ultimately bring value to Brex cardholders.
Our goal is to continually form partnerships that deliver A+ value to startup founders. We are the only founder-focused credit card, so everything we do on the partnerships side is designed to provide founders with the features they want! Another note: these partnerships take months and months to come together, which is important to recognize. So, it is very important to stay patient and consistent throughout the partnership process!
RLG: Do you have any professional tips for networking and relationship building?
AL: Simply put: prioritize your relationships. Do not network with the sole purpose of taking value to advance your career. Instead, maintain the ‘givers-mentality’ - provide value first and expect nothing in return. Through time and consistency, the doors of opportunity will open up. I recommend Adam Grant’s Give and Take for all looking to master relationships & networking as it speaks to these points precisely!
I spend lots of time determining how I can be helpful to other people. I do not time deem this as time lost, but rather time invested into relationships and future value. The importance of prioritizing relationships cannot be overstated - afterall my current position with Brex is a direct result of meeting Michael two years ago and growing that connection!
RLG: What is your best advice for an entrepreneur to avoid ‘burning out’?
AL: Every entrepreneur has a different method to avoid ‘burning out’ - so my advice that can apply to all entrepreneurs is to take time to understand yourself and find what works for you. Ensure you understand when you are beginning to ‘burn out’, then catch yourself. Do not compare yourself to others who may seem to have all things figured out - shift your focus to yourself and use your best self-care methods.
When I was in the San Francisco startup ecosystem, I knew wanted to contribute to startups long term, but also understood that doing so would require myself to prioritize time off. So, I was sure to pull myself away from the startup world when I knew I needed to recover and rejuvenate.
RLG: What is your biggest learning take away from your entrepreneurial journey?
AL: An out-of-office network of mentors is extremely valuable. I encourage you look outside individuals at your company for mentorship advice. Go to events and get into conversations. Provide value for others and engage with the individual. After building a relationship, the mentorship aspect will come naturally.
I’ve found this approach to be very fruitful. At times, your boss may not be the perfect mentor as he/she may have a competing rationale or motive that may not best suit your needs - so I’d recommend you build a personal board of advisors. My board has been instrumental for me. I can also be much more candid during these mentorship meetings because I don’t engage with them in the office every day!
RLG: Do you believe in a work-life balance?
AL: As stated earlier, I believe work-life balance means different things to different people. I personally I love spending time with other entrepreneurs, so my Saturday night could consist of attending an enjoyable and productive Founders Dinner. I’ve found the lines separating my personal and professional life have blurred as I love being around inspirational people who help facilitate my growth. So, I believe in balancing work by spending time doing your favorite activities with the best people in your life.
Favorite Book: Crime and Punishment
First item you’d grab in a house fire: My dad's old watch
Dream Vacation: Japan
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